As previously mentioned, I went up and had lessons with Dumbledore the other day - his sage advice is always intriguing. I've been thinking a lot about goals and business and whatnot, but those are thoughts to sort through as I go on.
I rode Tango first because lately I've been having SO MUCH FUN every time I get on him. One of my students has been schooling him quite a bit - I'm not riding Tangoose much. But every time I get on him, I'm feeling how much the work on Kat is changing my ability to ride all of my horses. And Tango is definitely a fun ride.
I blew through most of 2nd test 1 on him on Saturday because I like some of the exercises it asks you to do. I was fully prepared to pull him off it to school a movement or ask for more/less, whatever. But he was so good. Usually he'll struggle a bit in the shoulder-in and come above the bit before stepping through with his hind end to carry a bit more, but this weekend he was like putty in my hands.
The run down? The horse is trained. It's time to step it up.
- Sometimes Tango's balance takes a dive for the worse in downward transitions. We experimented with transitions in shoulder-in, then with transitions in renvers.
- Note to self: your renvers is a mess. Someday Tracey will yell at you for this.
- Renvers was like magic for getting him to stay up through the withers in downward transitions. Tango was so light and carrying behind - so fun!
- Work on the counter canter to continue improving the quality and strength of the canter. Right now on smaller circles Tango needs some serious hand-holding, so he needs to get stronger overall.
- Work on lengthening and shortening the canter. When I mentioned to Dumbledore I haven't done much lengthening/shortening with Tango, he was a bit rankled.
- Keep my hands out in front of me - if this means adjusting the reins fifteen times, so be it. Don't let the hands sneak back.
We jumped quite a bit and I got very little feedback. For what we're doing, we're doing very well. It's just more of the same - get him confident, calm, rideable.
Kat felt tense to me, so I asked Dumbledore to ride her. She was tricksy for him, but settled well enough and I worked through some stuff before jumping some. I honestly don't have much notable to say about it other than what I've already written.
- I need to remain more serious about keeping her quiet before jumps. He suggests jumping EVERY SINGLE DAY, just two jumps. It's got to get boring and easy and simple. It's currently easy, but neither boring nor simple.
- Sit up. Like strap your shoulders back or something because hunching doesn't do anything good for you or the horse.
- Dumbledore suggests the same thing as Tracey, pretty much only ask for the canter when she's quiet, soft, bending at the trot. We are to do this mostly by doing a ten meter circle and asking for the canter on the second half the circle. It works when I get my timing together....
Dumbledore suggests we'll be running prelim by next year if I keep up my work with her. He's taken many riders to that level so I know he knows what he's talking about, but I'm honestly not jumping her at all right now outside of lessons, so a conversation with myself about priorities is going to have to come out.